I found myself on stage and wearing a long hoop skirt. The play I was in may have been about Cinderella. I didn’t know anything about it, nor did I know my part or blocking. I sensed that my role was minor but important. I don’t know how I got through it, or if I did. Others may have spoken in my place.
For the ovation, the minor players were supposed to run on stage through a side tunnel and the principals through a main, forward-facing tunnel. I didn’t know where or when to go, and everyone was too preoccupied with lining up or talking (backstage?) to tell me. It was almost like I wasn’t there or was invisible.
Finally, I got the impression that I was to come down the main tunnel ahead of the principals. I was so happy that I planned to throw up my hands and blow a kiss to the world, which is far more demonstrative than I usually am. I may have realized that I was bidding farewell to something, perhaps high school.
There was still confusion everywhere, so I came out behind the principals. By that time, the house lights were up, and almost the entire audience had cleared out. The few lingerers, those who had been trapped in the front didn’t notice me. I was crushed with disappointment, all my joy instantly evaporated.
A friend found me. To get off the stage, we had to climb down through store racks of clothing. She chattered about a hockey game loss that didn’t interest me. I felt like I had been abruptly plunged back into the mundane world without exulting in any of the glory of the spotlight. She didn’t understand my tears or growing depression. I would never appear again on stage. I’d experienced the anticlimax of my life before it had even begun.